It’s “twelve angry men” with a twist: A lawyer on a murder trial jury, convinced that the defendant is innocent, helps deadlock the panel and secure a mistrial. But when the case is retried, that same attorney winds up on the defense team and helps win an acquittal.

That essentially is what happened this spring in New Orleans. Attorney Joan Canny was on the jury that heard the case of murder defendant Walter Huston. She held out for acquittal and, later, working for nothing and over prosecutors’ objections, helped defend him. All the while, she continued her regular work at New Orleans’ McGlinchey Stafford P.L.L.C., where she is a partner who represents union-busters more often than accused killers.

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